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How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Fertilizing established lawns

Lawns that are discolored, slow-growing, or have invading weeds or other pest problems may not be properly fertilized. Fertilizer is important for healthy, vigorous plant growth and development. Because many of the required nutrients for turfgrass are found naturally in the soil, fertilization practices focus on the supply of three primary nutrients — nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen is the only nutrient that turfgrass needs on a regular basis. Lawns may occasionally be deficient in iron, and fertilizers containing iron may be supplemented. As nitrogen is applied, both root and shoot growth increases. If too much nitrogen is applied too frequently, shoots will continue to grosw yet root growth will slow, leaving the turf vulnerable to problems.

See the following publications for more information:

Benefits of grasscycling

Grasscycling supplies about 20% of the fertilizer requirements of most grasses. Leaving your clippings on the grass after mowing is beneficial as it returns nutrients back to the soil. However it is only beneficial if you follow proper watering, mowing, and fertilizing guidelines. Avoid overfertilizing as it can cause vigorous shoot and stem growth, contributing considerably to thatch buildup.

Follow these steps to give your lawn the nutrition it needs:

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Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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